Entropion is an eye condition where the eyelid turns inward. Typically entropion occurs on the lower eyelid where the skin and lashes rub painfully against the cornea. This condition may cause the lid to either turn in constantly or only at times when the eyes are closed tightly.
Causes of Entropion
Entropion usually occurs in older adults as a result of the aging process. In adults the muscles around the eyes may progressively weaken. A spasm or relaxation of the muscles near the eye can cause the lid to turn inward. Other causes of entropion include:
- Muscle weakness
- Congenital defect
- Skin disease
Symptoms of Entropion
The initial symptoms of entropion are often the following:
- Pain in the eye
- Excessive tearing
- Dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Reduced vision
- Discharge from the eye
- A feeling that there is something in the eye
Complications of Entropion
Over time, if the condition is not treated, the cornea may become damaged due to:
- Corneal ulcers
Patients experiencing light sensitivity should contact their physician immediately. Without treatment a decrease in vision can occur. The doctor will be able to confirm the diagnosis of entropion upon an examination of the eyes.
Treatment of Entropion
While there are treatments for entropion, correction of the condition is completed with a brief surgical procedure in which the eyelids are repositioned. Temporary relief of the entropion condition can also be found with the following treatment methods:
- BOTOX Cosmetic
- Skin tape to hold the eyelid in place
- Strategically placed stitches
- Lubricating eye drops
Surgical Correction of Entropion
The eyelid area is numbed with a local anesthetic and a light sedation may also be provided. For entropion due to muscle weakness, the surgery may involve the removal of a small section of eyelid to tighten the muscles in the area. When the entropion is caused by scars or prior surgery, the procedure typically relies on a skin graft to allow a repositioning of the eyelid.
Patients usually need to wear an eye patch for 24 hours after the surgery. Post-operatively an antibiotic and steroid ointment will need to be applied. Symptoms of entropion usually resolve immediately. There may be some short-term bruising or swelling as a result of the procedure.